Living With a Spinal Cord Injury (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Concerns of the Caregiver
Your first experience as a caregiver for a spinal cord injury (SCI) usually comes during rehabilitation (rehab). Although the rehab team takes the lead at this point in your loved one's recovery, you can help by:
Before your loved one returns home, a decision has to be made about who is to be the main caregiver. You or another family member may feel you should be the main caregiver. But there may be reasons why this could be hard, such as:
Discuss with the rehab team what it means to be a caregiver. They can help you see what the full impact of caring for someone with an SCI will be. And if you cannot be a full-time caregiver, the rehab team can help you find a nursing home, assisted-living facility, or in-home help. They can also give you training in helping your loved one, even if you are not the full-time caregiver. You may need to help him or her do exercises, move in and out of the wheelchair, and get dressed, for example.
Whether or not you are the main caregiver, you need to attend to your own well-being.
Whether or not you are the main caregiver for your loved one, living and/or caring for him or her can be both rewarding and difficult. Watching someone deal with such a serious injury can be painful but also inspirational. Sharing the small and large victories can provide a shared pleasure and forge a stronger relationship. But setbacks and "bad days" can be frustrating and traumatic.
You may feel:
The key to working through frustrations is communication. It is important that both you and your loved one talk about what bothers you and about what your expectation are. Remember that in a sense you are in a "new" relationship: roles in your family may have changed dramatically. Discuss what you are feeling about the changes and explain them. This can help you understand each other's needs and foster a healthy relationship. Always remember that love and support are key to your loved one's recovery and to your well-being as a caregiver.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2012 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Find out what women really need.
Pill Identifier on RxList
- quick, easy,
Find a Local Pharmacy
- including 24 hour, pharmacies